Republican “Young Guns,” Obama visit Silicon Valley

Sept. 27, 2011, 2:02 a.m.

The three “Young Guns” of House Republican leadership headed to Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto on Monday for a “Facebook Live” conversation. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg held an online discussion with House Majority Eric Cantor (R-Va.), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

The panel was held in a similar format to President Barack Obama’s Facebook visit last April. Cantor, McCarthy and Ryan answered questions from around 100 Facebook employees and guests. The event was also broadcast live.

Cantor, McCarthy and Ryan co-authored their book, “Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders,” in August 2010.

The Republican leaders were not the only visitors from Washington in Silicon Valley this weekend, nor the only to meet with the Facebook COO. Sandberg hosted the President at her home in Atherton, Calif. for a Sunday night fundraiser. Monday morning, the President held a town hall in Mountain View, Calif. at the Computer History Museum. The event was cosponsored by another social media force, LinkedIn, and was titled “Putting America Back to Work: LinkedIn Presents a Town Hall with President Obama.” The President continued his West Coast trip to Los Angeles.

Facebook is also shifting its focus to “putting America back to work.” The company announced its new small-business education program Monday, which will partner with the National Federation of Independence Business and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to support small business owners through case studies and webinars.

Cantor said from the Speaker’s Balcony of the U.S. Capitol, previewing the Facebook event, that he initially began using Facebook to track his daughter’s use of the site, but hopes to use it as a political tool “to begin a process of speaking and listening.”

— Margaret Rawson


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